“Centre yet to decide on date of NJAC Act 2014”

“A similar case has also been filed in the Supreme Court”

January 13, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 06:11 am IST - MADURAI:

The Centre on Monday informed the Madras High Court Bench here that it had not decided the date from which the Constitution (99{+t}{+h}Amendment) Act 2014 and the consequential National Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2014 would come into force.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) G. Rajagopalan told Justices S. Tamilvanan and V.S. Ravi that though legislation had received the President’s assent and were published in the government gazette, the Centre was yet to decide the date from which they would be implemented.

“As on date, they are not in operation,” the ASG said and urged the Bench to adjourn the hearing on a public interest litigation petition filed by a lawyer challenging the validity of the Constitution (99{+t}{+h}Amendment) Act since a similar case had also been filed in the Supreme Court.

Rejecting his plea, Justice Tamilvanan said that he does not want to “protract” the matter as the PIL petitioner, Y. Krishnan, had already argued the case at length last week. “You argue the case for dismissal and let the petitioner present his case. We will give a quietus to the issue,” the judge said.

Later, he posted the case for final hearing on January 28 and directed both sides to come prepared for arguments.

In his affidavit, the petitioner had claimed that the NJAC would give an upper hand to the executive in the matter of appointment of judges besides giving scope for political interference.

He contended that the supremacy of the judiciary could be safeguarded only if the existing collegium (a team comprising senior judges) system continues to be in force for selecting and appointing Supreme Court and High Court judges.

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